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UPBEAT Eunan O’Kane has set his sights on a top-half finish and insists Cherries will not be content to merely secure Championship safety.

With 12 games of the season to go, the Dean Court outfit are 16 points clear of the drop zone and on track to retain their Championship status having moved into the top half of the standings following Wednesday night’s 1-0 win at Blackburn.

Cherries’ highest second-tier finish was 12th under Harry Redknapp in 1988-89 and midfielder O’Kane believes the current crop has the potential to match that achievement, if not better it.

He told the Daily Echo: “For us at the start of the season, I think a lot of people would just have accepted a mid-table finish but hopefully we can go a little bit better than that and stay in the top half.

“Football changes very quickly. As long as we can keep putting those performances in then, hopefully, we can climb the table.

“We’re improving all the time. If we can keep picking up points and get ourselves as far away from those bottom three places, then who knows where we can go?”

Meanwhile, the former Torquay man has urged Cherries to keep the clean sheets coming.

Eddie Howe’s side have kept out Blackpool, Doncaster and Blackburn in their past three games having previously not managed a shutout since Boxing Day.

O’Kane added: “If we can put more clean sheets together, there’s goals in our team.”